Wednesday, November 16, 2005


I grew up in Arkansas. We had muggy summers and ice storms in the winter. We wore shorts and tank tops in the summer, and we wore sweaters and coats in the winter. One summer I threw wet t-shirts in the freezer since I didn't have air conditioning and I needed to stay cool. One winter we had such a terrible ice storm that we slept in our living room for three days with no power and one kerosene heater.

I spent some time in Wisconsin as a small child. There were two seasons - mosquito and winter. I remember spending 15 minutes getting dressed warmly to trek out into the yard, find my brothers in their snow forts, and come in ten minutes later to warm up.

I lived in St. Louis for a little while. Summers were just as muggy as Arkansas. Winter involved snow shovelling and driving the car on the icy roads like it was a boat. I wore long underwear from the end of October through mid-March. (I get cold easy.) I wore coats, hats, gloves and scarves two-thirds of the year.

It's November. It was 80 degrees this afternoon at my house in the city, which means it was close to 85 or 90 in the valley where I work. I woke up cold in my t-shirt and sweatpants at 7 AM. It was 61 degrees.

The weather out here is psychotic. You really have to dress in layers. The temperature can vary so much from morning to afternoon to night, or from one part of the city to the next. What's even more psychotic is my threshhold for cold has changed drastically. I was cold and it was 61 degrees. No snow, no ice, no freezing wind. When I was in fifth grade, 61 degrees meant wearing shorts to school. Now I'm a total weather wuss.

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